Supreme Court Case Points to Public Financing

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The Orlando Sentinel has been supportive of full public financing of congressional elections in the past and this recent Supreme Court decision to remove some of the limits on television advertisements by corporations and unions moved them to editorialize in favor of public financing again as a way to level the electoral playing field in light of this recent ruling.

Here's their argument:

Congress needs to seek ways to counterbalance the extra power that the court's ruling gives special interests. One good way would be to create a voluntary public-financing system for congressional candidates, and fix the broken system for presidential candidates.

If those systems are well-designed, candidates who agree to limit their fund-raising from private sources will qualify for enough public dollars to run competitive campaigns. They will be less dependent on money from special interests, whether it comes directly or indirectly, and more inclined to heed ordinary voters.

The high court has spoken. But by creating a public-financing system, Congress wouldn't let justices have the last word on this issue.